KVH and On-Waves collaborate to offer maritime cell phone service

MIDDLETOWN, R.I., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — As part of an effort to bring convenient communications to mariners worldwide, KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) and On-Waves Ehf are partnering to make cell phone service at sea a reality for crew and passengers on vessels around the globe. Using KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband(SM) network and TracPhone® V7 satellite communications system along with the On-Waves maritime cell phone service, crew members, passengers, and onboard contractors can easily and affordably use their own cell phones to make and receive calls to and from anywhere in the world. Cell phones alone usually lose reception about 15 miles offshore, when vessels travel outside the range of land-based cell towers.

“We are very excited to offer the On-Waves solution to our TracPhone V7 and mini-VSAT Broadband users,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, chief executive officer of KVH Industries. “By pairing On-Waves’ picocell technology with the TracPhone V7 and our global mini-VSAT Broadband network, we are essentially turning leisure and commercial vessels into secure maritime cell towers. The addition of GSM and CDMA cell phone service will expand the versatility of our TracPhone V7 and the mini-VSAT Broadband network and increase their value to ship owners and operators who need to stay connected at sea. This is a huge improvement in the convenience of maritime communications, and we’re happy to work with On-Waves to bring it to our customers.”

“KVH is a leader in our market and we are very proud to work with them to offer our maritime GSM and CDMA services to mini-VSAT Broadband customers,” explains Constantin Simeonidis, chief executive officer of On-Waves. “Most people take high speed connections and mobile phones for granted on land, but the maritime industry has been without these conveniences for far too long. By joining our efforts, On-Waves and KVH can now bridge this gap and bring the very best satellite communications to crew, staff and guests. The trust of a global leader like KVH Industries is a great endorsement of the reliability of our maritime services and we are highly honored.”

On-Waves’ maritime GSM service works by allowing any crew member, passenger, or contractor to purchase a dedicated SIM card, pop it into their cell phone, and use that phone on a moving ship, anywhere in the world, just as they would at home. For one low, fixed price per minute, they can call anywhere they like without paying additional long distance charges. For customers preferring to use their own cellular service companies, On-Waves has maritime roaming agreements with over 450 GSM and CDMA service providers around the globe – these technologies provide service for over 85% of the world’s 3.3 billion cell phone users. In addition to offering convenient, easy to use service, the On-Waves equipment is also unobtrusive and easy to install. It includes a picocell, a small piece of hardware mounted on the exterior of the ship, and compact belowdecks hardware used to transmit calls over the mini-VSAT Broadband network.

The mini-VSAT Broadband service, along with the KVH TracPhone V7 antenna, comprise the first end-to-end 24-inch VSAT antenna, service, and support package available for maritime communications. Seven secure earth stations around the globe, together with seven of the world’s most powerful communications satellites, bring affordable, high-speed Internet connections and crystal clear voice service to maritime customers through the KVH mini-VSAT Broadband network.

About KVH Industries, Inc.

Middletown, RI-based KVH Industries, Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiary, KVH Europe A/S, are leading providers of in-motion satellite TV and communications systems, having designed, manufactured, and sold more than 150,000 mobile satellite antennas for applications on vessels, vehicles, and aircraft. KVH’s mission is to connect mobile customers around the globe with the same digital television entertainment, communications, and Internet services that they enjoy in their homes and offices.

About On-Waves Ehf

On-Waves is a subsidiary of SIMINN, formerly known as Iceland Telecom, a company with 1,600 employees, a market value in excess of $1.2B and over 500 GSM roaming agreements. Headquartered in Reykjavik, SIMINN has been providing roaming services to the maritime market since early 2003. On-Waves is the maritime GSM service provider for SIMINN. In order to provide maritime GSM services, On-Waves has undertaken major investments, developed a dedicated hardware solution to fit commercial shipping needs and secured hundreds of maritime roaming agreements, along with sophisticated pre-paid platforms. On-Waves currently provides service to 65 vessels, both cruise ships and large ferries, operating in Europe, the Caribbean and the southern hemisphere and has a significant backlog for additional vessels, in cruise, ferry, and commercial shipping.

This release may contain certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include, for example, the functionality, characteristics, quality and performance of KVH’s products and technology; anticipated innovation and product development; and customer preferences, requirements and expectations. The actual results could differ materially. Factors that may cause such differences include, among others, those discussed in KVH’s most recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. KVH does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect new information or developments.

KVH and TracPhone are registered trademarks of KVH Industries, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies.

By Professional Mariner Staff